Don't drive when you take these drugs

Seems like every time I open a newspaper or turn on the TV, I see a breathless report on Lindsay Lohan's latest traffic accident.

Why do I care? I don't -- but reading a medical journal the other day, I realized maybe there's something to be learned from this after all.

Turns out people who take antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs are more likely to get into traffic accidents -- and thanks to the regular news reports on Ms. Lohan, we know that she's been on at least three psychotropic drugs: including the antidepressants Zoloft and Trazodone

My point isn't to share with you the ins and outs of Lindsay Lohan's medicine chest or her driving record. You can get as much of that as you want from Entertainment Tonight if you're into that kind of "news."

No, the real point here is that while most people (except, perhaps, Lindsay Lohan) know better than to drink and drive, many people won't think twice about driving while on powerful mood-altering drugs that can affect reaction times, and more.

And as the new study in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology shows, that's a mistake.

Researchers from Taiwan matched data on 5,183 people involved in major car accidents to that of 31,093 others who had no accidents. Turns out the people who banged up their cars were more likely to have spent time on one of three classes of psychotropic meds: the benzodiazepines used for anxiety, antidepressants such as SSRIs and tricyclics, and the newer Z-drugs used to treat sleep disorders.

Now, I don't know if Lindsay Lohan's meds are what make her drive like she's in a demolition derby.

I'm concerned about you and your loved ones -- because many of the people who take these drugs don't realize how it can affect them. So obviously, the first action to take is to understand what these meds do to you and whether or not it's safe for you to drive while on them.

And remember, you might not necessarily be the best judge of that while you're on those meds.

The second and more important course of action, however, is to find your way off the drugs so you don't have to worry about how they might affect your driving.

Odds are you don't even need them in the first place.

Anxiety, sleep disorders, ADHD, and depression -- even major depression -- can often be cured completely naturally. In many cases, all of these conditions can be caused or worsened by some combination of poor nutrition and hormonal imbalances.

A holistic doctor can help you find the real cause, and fix it. And while you're working on finding that cause, he can shift you away from dangerous drugs and onto natural remedies that can provide short-term relief without the risks.

And if you're one of my patients from the Los Angeles area and happen to see Ms. Lohan on your way to my clinic you might want to get off of the road fast -- or, better yet, slip her my card at a stop light.